Last Call: Greg Laurie (Weekly)

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

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“All Devotional Posts are Presented in Weekly Format”

(Posted on Sunday for all Seven days of the Week)

 

 

 This Weeks  

Greg Laurie

 


SUNDAY

April 3

MORNING

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

A conversation took place many years ago between D. L. Moody, before he became the great evangelist, and another man. The man said to Moody, “You know, the world has yet to see what God can do with and through the man who is totally committed to Him.” Those words went deep into Moody’s heart, and he prayed, “Lord, I want to be that man.” He sure came close.

The Book of Acts is a story of ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things because they allowed God to have His way in their lives. In the same way, God wants to use you to turn your world upside down for Christ. It starts with your saying, “Lord, I want to make a difference. I don’t want this world to turn me around. I want to turn it around. Use me.”

The world has yet to see what God can do with and through the man or woman who is totally committed to Him. Will God find such people today? I wonder if you would say, like Moody, “I want to be that person.” If you will, then your life can make a difference. It will be exciting in the days ahead to see what God will do through and with you. But He wants you to be available to Him.

One of these days, your life will come to an end. What will you say of your life? What will others say? How great it would be to say, like Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7). What will you say?

MONDAY


April 4

MORNING

When God Seems Distant

“John the Baptist, who was now in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, ‘Are you really the Messiah we’ve been waiting for, or should we keep looking for someone else?’ “
Have you ever had something happen in your life that caused you to say, “Where is God?” None less than the greatest prophet who ever lived, John the Baptist, faced this struggle.

John had put it all on the line for Jesus Christ. He had baptized Him in the Jordan River. He pointed his own disciples to Jesus, whom he believed was the Messiah. John had clearly pledged his complete loyalty to Jesus. Yet a strange series of events took place after that. One moment, he was out preaching to the multitudes and baptizing people. The next moment, he was in prison. The great John the Baptist began to entertain some doubt. So he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you really the Messiah we’ve been waiting for, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

Jesus’ disciples and John commonly believed that Jesus would establish His kingdom then and there. But they failed to recognize that before Christ would establish His kingdom, He would first come to suffer and die for the sins of humanity. John misunderstood the prophesies of Scripture, and therefore felt that Jesus was not doing what He was supposed to do.

Sometimes we, too, misunderstand God and His Word when He doesn’t do what we think He should do or when He doesn’t work as quickly as we would like Him to. But even when we cannot understand God’s ways, His methods, or His timing, He still asks us to trust Him. And He is trustworthy.

TUESDAY


April 5

MORNING

Dealing with Discouragement

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”
It is not unusual for even the most spiritual people to have their days of doubt. Moses, on one occasion at least, was overwhelmed by his circumstances. After he had listened to the constant complaining of the children of Israel, he basically told the Lord, “I’m fed up. Just kill me. I don’t want to deal with this another day.”

Elijah, after his contest with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, heard that Jezebel had put a contract out on his life. He was so overwhelmed by his circumstances, so discouraged, so uncertain, and so filled with doubt that he said to God, “Take my life.”

Even the great apostle Paul had moments when he was discouraged. He wrote to the church at Corinth, “We were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

Jeremiah, the great prophet, faced it as well. He was ridiculed and harassed for giving out the Word of God. Because he was tired of the pressure he was facing, it made him want to stop giving out God’s Word altogether. He said, “The word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name’ ” (Jeremiah 20:8–9).

You are not the only one who has ever faced doubt or uncertainty or has been perplexed as to why God did not work in a certain way. We may be in the midst of God’s working and can’t see the big picture as He can.

WEDNESDAY


April 6

MORNING

  

Never Alone

” ‘For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, “Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.” ‘ “
Time and time again God reminded Paul of His presence, no doubt when he needed it the most. God knows what we need, and He knows when we need it. He knew when Paul could use that extra assurance. When he was in that prison cell in Jerusalem, the Lord appeared to him and told him to be courageous (see Acts 23:11). Then from prison in Rome, he wrote to Timothy, “But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength . . .” (2 Timothy 4:16). In some special way, God reassured Paul of His presence. Acts 27 tells us that the Lord sent an angel to reassure him.

You can take heart in the face of danger or uncertainty because of your awareness of God’s presence with you. When your heart sinks, when it seems as though your life falling apart, you must remember the Lord is there with you. You are not alone. No, there are not always easy answers. But we can be sure of this: He will be with us through the storm.

God was standing by Paul’s side, and God is with us in our storms as well. He may not necessarily send an angel. We may not necessarily hear an audible voice. But if we pay attention, we can hear the still, small voice of God. And certainly, He will speak to us through His Word. Then we, like Paul, can reassure others that the Lord is in control.

 

THURSDAY


April 7

MORNING

Unwavering Faith

“And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”
One of the things that amazes me about the apostle Paul is how he always seemed to rise to the top of every situation and seized every opportunity to preach the gospel. We read in the Book Acts that when Paul and Silas were thrown in prison, they began to sing praises to God at midnight. An earthquake struck, the walls fell, and the next thing you know, the very jailer that was responsible for chaining them up and whipping them asked, “What must I do to be saved?”

Then, when Paul was brought before the various dignitaries of Rome, he became master of every situation. For example, when he was before Felix, he reasoned with him regarding righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. When he stood before Festus and Herod Agrippa II, he said, “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” He posed the question to Herod Agrippa II, “Do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” He was a prisoner on a ship, and in a short time, the crew, the captain, the soldiers, and the Roman centurion were taking orders from Paul—and everyone was listening to him!

Paul was bold. He didn’t seem to be afraid of anything. He never seemed to get down. His life wasn’t always easy. In fact, it was very difficult. But the words he penned to the believers at Philippi seemed to always hold true: “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11). He was fully convinced of the faithfulness of God and was sustained by that conviction.

FRIDAY


April 8

MORNING

In His Time

“Then Jesus said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.’ “
Martha, Mary, and their brother, Lazarus, were close friends of Jesus. He often would spend time in their home in Bethany. When Lazarus became sick, Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus. No doubt they thought that Jesus would drop whatever He was doing and rush back to Bethany. But Jesus intentionally delayed His arrival.

In fact, Jesus didn’t show up until much later. By the time He hit town, not only had Lazarus died, but he had been dead four days. Martha walked up and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Loose paraphrase: “Jesus, you blew it. You had the perfect situation here. You could have healed him, but you didn’t show up.”

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha replied, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Martha didn’t quite get it, so Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth!” and her brother came out of the tomb. Martha wanted a healing. Jesus wanted a resurrection.

Sometimes we limit God. Sometimes we think God must work on our schedules. But God will not be bound by time. God will not be bound by our schedules. God will work when He chooses and with whom He chooses. Therefore, there will be times when our circumstances don’t make sense. Even then, we need to trust Him.

SATURDAY

 

April 9

MORNING

From His Perspective

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ “
I heard the story of an elderly minister who liked to visit people in hospitals. He often would take along a little, embroidered bookmark that he carried in his Bible. On the back of the bookmark were a group of tangled threads with no apparent pattern. He would hand this bookmark, with the back facing up, to those who were hurting or upset and say, “Look at that and tell me what it says.”

As they looked at all the tangled threads, they would say, “I have no idea what it says. It doesn’t seem to say anything.”

Then he said, “Now, turn it over.” As they would flip that bookmark over, they saw the words, “God is love.” The minister would say, “Many times as we look at what God is doing, we just see tangled threads with no rhyme or reason. But from God’s perspective, He is dealing with us in love, and He knows what He is doing.”

The next time you think it is all over for you, just remember how things turned out for Joseph. Just remember how things turned out for Daniel. No doubt things looked pretty dim when he was in the den of lions. It looked hopeless as well for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Things looked pretty grim for Peter when he was in prison. And things looked bleak for Martha and Mary when their brother died.

You see, things can look bad at one moment, but then God will step in and turn events around. Then suddenly you’ll look back and say, “Now I understand what God was doing.”

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